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This Viral Photo Captures Exactly What It Means To Be A Teacher

She wanted to make sure her lesson plans were done before she went out on maternity leave

A teacher’s work is really never done. Just ask Jennifer Pope, who was moments from welcoming her fourth child, when her friend and birth photographer Andrea McDonald captured a moment that perfectly sums up what it means to be a teacher.

“No, she is not doing her taxes. Those papers would be her lesson plans her husband is about to go drop off with her sub in the parking lot,” McDonald writes on her Facebook page. “Also, next week is Teacher Appreciation Week here in Texas. Spoil them rotten because even in labor, they care. No lie, she gave birth less than an hour later.”

Image via Rooted In Love Photography

Now that is some serious dedication, folks. She is having her own child but cares enough about her students to make sure they’re taken care of while she is gone.

McDonald, who was a teacher for many years, tells Scary Mommy that Jennifer is “a dear friend” and she was on hand to capture her birth photos when she snapped this image. “She’s the only 2nd grade teacher at her school and a mom of four, so she’s a rock star. She’s extremely hard-working and a devoted mother.” McDonald says Pope’s husband, also pictured, is a teacher as well, so he knows the drill.

Image via Rooted In Love Photography

“I was a teacher myself for many years and grew up in a home with both of my parents being teachers for 25 years,” McDonald explains. “I think that sometimes it’s hard to realize that’s it’s not an 8-5 job with summers off, etc. After dismissal, their job has so much more to it that many don’t see. I remember my mother working on school things on the weekend and my dad waking up very early to prepare for the day.”

Image via Rooted In Love Photography

It’s true – a teacher’s job is never done. We need to remember to tell our teachers just how much we appreciate the work they’re doing. Their job is relentless and time-consuming. It takes an emotional toll and a physical one with all the hours worked outside of the classroom. Think about how challenging it can be as a parent managing our own children on a daily basis. Teachers manage all of our children, every day. Many work in underfunded schools, buy their own supplies, and do all of this on salaries that require many to get second jobs just to pay the bills.

“Teachers love their students as their own. Even in labor and when they’re home sick, they care,” McDonald says. Pope is not unlike the millions of teachers all over the world who selflessly put their students before themselves every single day.

Congratulations to Jennifer and her beautiful family, and thank you to all teachers for everything they do.

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